Liberal linguist George Lakoff thinks liberals approach the task of public persuasion like social scientists, thinking that facts and logic will persuade, but conservatives think like marketers and understand, like the makers of an effective TV commercial, that the wires of the brain react positively and negatively to particular words and images.
This feels helpful to me, as someone who tries to influence public policy… an effective communicator will attempt to appeal to both emotion and logic when making an argument. But it still goes against my instinct to let logic trump emotion when making public decisions (those that affect people other than myself and my personal network).
This is even more frustrating because Liberals are supposed to be the creative class, not the stuffy over-thinking old people.
Republicans are telling Americans a Big Lie, and Obama and the Democrats are letting them. The Big Lie is our economic problems are due to a government that’s too large, and therefore the solution is to shrink it. The truth is our economic problems stem from the biggest concentration of income and wealth at the top since 1928, combined with stagnant incomes for most of the rest of us. The result: Americans no longer have the purchasing power to keep the economy going at full capacity. Since the debt bubble burst, most Americans have had to reduce their spending; they need to repay their debts, can’t borrow as before, and must save for retirement.
I have never seen it put so succinctly. Anyone in a position of power who ignores or denies that this is the case does not have your best interests in mind.
One challenge here that Reich surely understands is that Americans don’t understand just how wealthy the wealthy are. Wealth is really really concentrated these days. If the wealthy would simply spend more, that would help, but then they’d be slightly less wealthy. Don’t risk your Forbes ranking.
I’ll never understand why this concept is so hard for so many people to understand.